Breast cancer patients in Arizona could be among the first beneficiaries of breakthrough studies in survival rates from the disease conducted through a partnership of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and a group of international scientists, an institute leader said Wednesday.
Michael Bassoff, vice president of development, said studies have shown there are two distinct gene patterns among patients who have long-term success in battling the disease compared with those that don’t.
Bassoff, the keynote speaker at a Chandler Chamber of Commerce meeting, declined to go into specifics but said the institute is working on ways in which that discovery can be used to help increase survival rates among breast cancer patients.
Once such treatment procedures are formally arrived at, Bassoff said Arizonans will be among the first in the nation to benefit from the advances in research.
Bassoff cited the ongoing work as an example of how the institute functions within the scientific community, with a goal of bringing generelated work and discoveries into the hands-on field of medicine.
"We want to translate (genetic discoveries) into something that means something for patients . . . We want to help people now," Bassoff said.
Bassoff said the institute hopes to cut the time between scientific discovery and the introduction of a new drug to market, something that is "very do-able".
In addition, the group will also conduct initial therapeutic trials in partnership with other organizations, such as universities, as well as on behalf of private pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The institute’s activities can also help create a hub of scientific energy in the Valley. And while it won’t necessarily result in the relocation of corporate pharmaceutical companies here, its work could help spur on additional investment in genomerelated studies and medical treatments.
"What we want to do is spark entrepreneurial activities among scientists and business," Bassoff said.
The organization’s ongoing work is currently spread across the Valley’s scientific laboratories while its headquarters, a 175,000 square foot building, is under construction at Fifth Street and Van Buren in Phoenix.
The group hopes to move into the building, donated by Phoenix, by the end of the year, while others should locate into a drug trial laboratory, the Center for Translational Drug Development, on the grounds of Scottsdale’s Mayo Clinic, next June, Bassoff said.